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When she finished reading last year’s thriller by a certain fellow attorney enriched beyond his wildest dreams by the writing dodge, Christine Dokko said to herself, “Well, this is an attainable thing to do — this is something I could do.” Her own fiction ouevre consisted of stories penned in girlhood. “Little fairy-tale type stories,” as Dokko described them. “Mostly the further adventures of characters I liked from other stories.” So it was that Dokko, an associate in the trust and estate department at Loeb & Loeb, enrolled in a class at The New School conducted by Richard Aellen, author of such zingy titles as “Flashpoint” and “Red Eye” and “Crux.” With Aellen’s help, Dokko began a zingy novel of her own. “I was by far the least experienced in that class,” she said. “But I had a great time. “And the timing of the contest was perfect,” she added, referring to Legal Ink, the Law Journal‘s fiction writing contest. “I got a lot of feedback while writing ‘Cold Comfort,’ and I guess it worked out well.” Well enough for Dokko, 31, to wind up as a Legal Ink finalist. In part, she credits a longtime notebook habit. “I always carry a notebook. You just never know when something’s going to hit you — a certain person, a turn of phrase,” said Dokko. “I have to write it down right away. “The world is a much more interesting place if you look at it with an eye toward describing it to someone else.” Writerly as that may sound, Dokko never thought of herself as an author, even though she earned an A.B. in American literature and history from Harvard University. She always had the law in mind as a career. In 1998, she earned her law degree from New York University School of Law. “Writing is such a solitary process. You separate yourself from what’s happening in the world,” said Dokko. “I don’t think I could ever sustain that. If I became successful as a writer, I see myself staying in the workplace.” Luckily for Dokko, she has an understanding spouse — David A. Stein, a tax lawyer with Debevoise & Plimpton. “The poor guy, I make him read my work,” she said of her husband. “What’s he going to say if he doesn’t like it?” With two lawyers and as many frantic schedules in the house, it can be difficult stealing time to write. “So we decided there would be only one writer in the family,” said Dokko. “Besides, David is more into photography.” They are both into travel. In fact, Dokko was interviewed by telephone for this article — from her hotel room in Turkey, where she is vacationing. And what if her fate were the same as the author of that thriller she read last year — John Grisham’s “The Testament”? What if writing brought Christine Dokko riches beyond her wildest dreams? “That’s getting kind of far ahead of things — “ After a long moment’s thought, she added, “But I think I would travel all the time.”

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